Branford Marsalis holds music clinic at ECSU

Kesha Williams
January 23, 2008

The ECSU Music Department will welcome three-time, Grammy award winner Branford Marsalis to the auditorium of the Fine Arts Center for a clinic with music students at 2:15 p.m. January 24. Faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend the clinic as an audience. Marsalis is a world-renown saxophonist, composer and head of Marsalis Music, a label he founded in 2002. He has used the label to produce his music and that of other jazz artists. Marsalis has shared his experience and knowledge with students at universities such as: Michigan State; San Francisco State, Stanford and North Carolina Central. Marsalis also uses an interactive program, Marsalis Jams, for jazz students and listeners at high school and colleges. Through Marsalis Jams, leading ensembles present concert/jam sessions in mini residences at campuses in the northeast, mid-atlantic, southeast and southwest. Marsalis' fans remember him for innovative musical performances as a solo artist or with his Quartet. For years he pleased loyal fans with his guest appearances National Public Radio programs. He also hosted NPR's Jazz Set. Marsalis has performed at numerous famed concert halls and music clubs. He toured and recorded for two years with Sting and was the musical director for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in the 90s. His charitable work includes relief efforts for residents affected by Hurricane Katrina; chair of the New Orleans Habitat for Humanity relief effort to rebuild the city; he and friend Harry Connick, Jr. conceived the Habitat Musicians Village, a segment of the city's historic Ninth Ward. Marsalis' affection for his native city is no surprise given the numerous performances over the years by his talented family. His father, Ellis, is a pianist and educator and his brothers, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason are also dedicated and accomplished musicians. Branford earned notoriety while working with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and through his brother Wynton's quintet. This week, Marsalis brings experience he's gained from those performances and nearly 24 of his own recordings to Elizabeth City State University.